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Coroner yields on decal flap; vehicles now have insignia
May 28, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer
Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan has put to rest his long-standing squabble over decals with the Fremont County Commission.
McAuslan said his office brought two vehicles to a county mechanic recently to install commission-approved graphics.
"It wasn't worth continuing to argue and fight about it," McAuslan said. "They were going to put them on, so I just did it."
The commission also considers the 16-month dispute to be over.
"It appears to me ... the issue is resolved," commissioner Travis Becker said later. "The rest of the coroner vehicles have placed on them the proper signage."
The move came days after Fremont County vehicle maintenance staff removed decals the Fremont County Coroner's Office had installed on one of its vehicles.
The Fremont County Commission decided this month that the removed graphics did not follow the county board's policy.
The commission established the details of its decal policy on Jan. 9. The county board decided vehicle decals should have an outline of the county and say "Fremont County" and either the name of the department or simply "Government."
The policy as published stated, "All existing logos will be grandfathered in."
McAuslan said he thought the decals he attached followed the commission's directive. He said the decals, which he added after the January meeting, followed the commission's policy because they were the same design used on other coroner's office vehicles.
"If there were existing logos, then they were grandfathered into their policy," he said. "We have had existing logos that were on the (other) vehicles. That's what was put on the (two) vehicles."
The graphics removed from the coroner's vehicle were not the design described in the policy. They also mentioned Wisconsin, not Wyoming.
The driver and passenger sides of the vehicle each had a decal: a seven-point star with "Coroner Fremont County" written around it. Inside the star on one of the graphics was a seal that said, "Great State of Wyoming."
The seal on the other side, however, read "Great State of Wisconsin."
McAuslan said one of his employees had made a mistake when ordering the decals, and he thought it had been fixed.
All parties agreed that the decal departed from the policy by
Vehicle maintenance director Glen Steers replaced the decals installed by McAuslan's staff with graphics approved by the Fremont County Commission. Steers said he was acting on direction from the commission.
The coroner's vehicles were unmarked previously, and commissioners in January 2012 said they wanted all county vehicles marked to increase accountability. McAuslan argued that the graphics would attract undue attention at the scene of an incident.
More than a year
Decals on county vehicles became an issue in January 2012 when the commission issued a memo stating all county vehicles had to bear county insignia.
The commission and the coroner were close to a compromise in June 2012. They discussed using magnetic decals that would have marked the vehicles as county-owned but would be removable when the coroner wanted to be inconspicuous.
Several commissioners had reservations about the magnetic graphics, and the disagreement continued.
McAuslan reintroduced the idea of removable signs in late January 2013 after the commission issued the detailed policy on graphics. The county board rejected his proposal but took no further action.